AFFTA’s Key Issues

Three primary categories of focus developed and approved by the AFFTA Government Affairs and Alliances (GAA) Committee.

We use these categories when qualifying our association with an organization, cause, campaign, or legislative effort. When summarized, the scope of the categories provides a succinct view of AFFTA’s priorities. They are as follows:

1. Water and Habitat Quality
2. Recreational Fishing Access
3. Trade, Tax, and Business Development

Under Water and Habitat Quality, support National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP) and the National Fish Habitat Conservation Act (H.R. 2565/S.1214). NFHAP is a critical partner and represent a focal point for AFFTA’s Jim Range National Casting Call.

Recreational Fishing Access represents a myriad of complex federal, state, and local regulations that impact both marine and freshwater fisheries. AFFTA’s position on access is derived from researching and promoting model guidelines for public access that embrace the responsible conservation of the natural resource and balancing the relationship between both landowner and anglers. Issues include:

  • State level Water Access Legislation
  • The Report from the Oceans Policy Task Force (especially marine spatial planning)
  • NOAA’s Catch Shares policy and the implications for allocations
  • Marine Protection Areas

Trade, Tax, and Business Development has been focused on the dutiable rate for woven top – rubber-soled wading shoes and rubber-soled boot foot fishing waders. Rubber soled waders and wading shoes are currently falling under a duty rate of 37.5 on the tariff schedule versus a duty rate of 12% on felt bottom wading shoes and waders. Because of the attention on invasive species at the federal and state level, plus the documented benefits of rubber bottom footwear versus felt in deterring the transfer of invasives, we are asking for relief in this excessive duty rate. This will allow consumer access to product that is better for the health of fisheries across the U.S.

This list is a greater overview of the specific items AFFTA is reviewing, observing, or supporting as they impact AFFTA and our affiliates.

1. Water and Habitat Quality


Global Warming
• Season’s End Report –

Dam Removal / Fish Passage
Invasive Species
• Didymo –

• Whirling Disease –

Lack of Conservation Funding
Lack of Mining Reforms
• Pebble Mine –

Wetlands Protection
Species Conservation
• Tarpon Conservation Act –

2. Fishing Access

Recreational Access
• Marine Spatial Planning (NOAA) –

• Marine Protected Areas –

• NOAA Saltwater Angler Data Collection –

• Interagency Policy Task Force Report –

• Utah House Bill 141 –

3. Trade, Tax, and Business Development

Federal Excise and Duty Rates
• Felt-Soled Wader and Wading Shoe Tariff Rates (MTB) – Reduction from 37.5% rate to 12% or lower.
• Reel Excise Rates
Angler Recruitment
• Fishing License Sales